Flythrough

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Virtual Reality Tour

Prologis Developments has launched an innovative virtual reality tour for its new, flagship Midpoint warehouse scheme in Birmingham, which allows potential occupiers to preview a building months before it has even been built.

Around 60 industrial agents from across London and the West Midlands were invited to two special premières recently at Hotel du Vin and Claridge’s respectively. The sophisticated virtual tour of the West Midlands’ premier industrial and distribution location enables users able to tour in and around the rendered buildings.

The real-time VR fly-through experience has been created around a software model of the warehouses currently being constructed on Prologis Park Midpoint, in Minworth, which lets potential occupiers zoom onto a building from above, but with the added bonus of then being able to travel virtually through the buildings, open and close dock doors – complete with sound effects, view some sample racking, see how the access relates to the yard and inspect the office layout – in other words, see how the building works as a whole.

The technology has been developed by Midlands virtual reality firm Maelstrom, and used to promote such high-profile buildings as the Ricoh Arena and the City of Manchester Stadium.

The advantage that this technology has over a standard video flythrough is that potential occupiers can go anywhere they want, for as long as they want, and the photo-realism of the environments, and the ease of use, turn the experience into a virtual site visit.

“We’ve used this technology a great deal for big architectural projects such as stadiums and for large promotional campaigns, but Prologis is the only warehouse developer to use real-time VR at the moment.” said Graham Patten, a director of Leicester-based Maelstrom.

Previous VR projects for Prologis included a virtual skydive from 5,000 metres above Prologis Park Kettering a couple of years ago, also encompassing an interactive tour of rendered buildings. Midpoint takes this technology even one step further and is extremely advanced, using software technology developed for a training simulation for the RAF last year.

The construction of two speculative buildings is underway at Prologis Park Midpoint, following the completion of major infrastructure and remediation works. DC3 (235,500 sq ft) and DC4 (312,500 sq ft) are expected to be finished in August and September respectively. Further units of 120,000 sq ft (DC1), 135,000 sq ft (DC6), 167,000 sq ft (DC2) and 435,000 sq ft (DC5) are available on a build to suit basis.

Prologis has planning consent to build around 1.3 million sq ft of prime industrial accommodation on the 65-acre site, off the Kingsbury Road. Infrastructure works included the creation of a new relief road, bypassing the village of Minworth, and a new roundabout, which forms the entrance into the development. Once completed, it is set to become one of the company’s flagship schemes in the UK, creating hundreds of new jobs and an environmental corridor for wildlife.

The site was formerly part of Severn Trent’s water treatment works and lies just south of the established Midpoint Park, within a 5-mile radius of eleven motorway junctions and just minutes from the M6, M6 Toll and M42.

Property agent Neil Starkie, of Savills, said: “We are already receiving a good level of interest in the development from across the industry, but this new virtual reality tour will add to its attractiveness, because it’s just like looking at a video of the scheme in real life.”